It's hard to believe it's been nearly 2 years since I last posted. So much has changed.
We blew our homestead up into a busy farm producing over a 100 gallons of raw milk per week [both goat and cow]; 100 dozen pastured eggs per month [both duck and chicken]; tons of organic heirloom produce, berries, breads from fresh-ground organic flour; cheese, cream, and butter; over 50 loyal customers; many, many classes on homesteading, dairy goat management, fencing, rainwater harvesting, pastured poultry, wild edible plants . . . Taking a big role as educators on what we do here. PBS came out, newspapers, Animal Planet. We drew the line at a reality show. I took jobs on the side to make ends meet, and to keep expanding here on the farm, while Rachel drowned with everything going on here at home alone.
It's now quiet and empty, as we sold all our stock late last summer. We needed a break. And when you're dairying, milking twice a day, every day of the year, as well as gardening, making deliveries, and processing all that milk, there are no breaks.
With farm life, every day you are fighting Nature; weeds, bugs, rodents, predators, weather, ailments, etc. That fight gets exhausting and discouraging.
We've also gotten a little bored, and tired, with the area here, and are not quite so content at home. Everywhere I look is work. The house is unfinished, the barn is unfinished, fencing needs redone, porches and decks need built. It's like living at a job-site.
We took the money from selling our animals and invested it in camping gear. We started backpacking in the Smokies, working full-time for one of our biggest dairy customers, and spent most of the winter camping and canoeing in Florida, on rivers such as the Wacissa, Suwannee, and Santa Fe.
All the kids have moved out of the house, so we reconfigured everything inside and now have indoor plumbing. We also started siding the outside:
This year we've got trips out to New Mexico and Oregon. We'll probably spend the winter again in Florida. Occasionally pop through home, and work a little, make back what we've spent, then move on to the next adventure.
I spent my twenties trying to become an Apache Indian. My thirties were dedicated to homesteading. Now here I am at 40 and ready to do something different.
There will soon be a link to our new website [so far untitled], which will cover what lies ahead for us.
It will have a ton of free content . . . an in-depth gear review, and comprehensive guides to the various places we explore via bike, canoe, car, on foot, with pics, maps, and video. It's that dream I have of living Nowhere that still haunts me. It's the Nowheres that are actually livable that I find best.
Books and articles will be for sale cheap [$5]. My books JUNE, DRIFTERS, and RUNAWAY, covering the early years, before homesteading, are already available here with links on the left. These 3 are captivating and well-written works that I have had NYC agents for. But negotiating the world of orthodox publishing is a lot like Hollywood - I don't have the patience or persistence for it. These books all have the same theme of people trying to break out of society to live a greater, freer, richer life.
We will also have very detailed articles on homesteading based on our years of research and experience in making the small farm work. Topics such as dairy goat management, pastured poultry, making your own animal feed, electric fencing, sheet mulch organic gardening, running the small farm as a business, DIY farm construction, humanure composting, rainwater harvesting, etc. will all be covered in our revolutionary approach that I think is why we got so much attention. These articles will ultimately be organized into a book on modern homesteading.
Our new blog will have some discussion on the pros and cons of a settled vs. nomadic lifestyle. Of Ex-farmers taking Nature just as it is and embracing it.
Hopefully the books and articles will generate some small income so we can keep traveling, and finding places, and bringing you great stories, without me always falling back on construction. We're most happy living simply, and would love to keep moving in this direction.